Other Voices

Alice Guy-Blaché, Pioneer of Early Cinema

Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a pioneering filmmaker of the early days of cinema, and the first woman to direct a film. One of the first filmmakers to make a narrative film, she was the only known female filmmaker in the world from 1896 to 1906.

Guy-Blaché directed, produced, or supervised about a thousand films, many of them short. When she died in 1968, many of her accomplishments had been erased from male-dominated film history books, but recent years have seen a revival of interest in her life and work. Read More→


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10 Fascinating Facts About Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998) was an American writer and environmentalist who famously fought to protect the Florida Everglades, and also used her talents to advocate for women’s rights and racial justice in Miami and beyond. Here you’ll discover 10 fascinating facts about Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose multifaceted accomplishments shouldn’t be forgotten.

Marjory’s long life was full of adventure, heartbreak, loss, discovery, and – ultimately – impact on the health and preservation of the wetlands critical to South Florida’s survival.

This unconventional woman helped shape the future of South Florida at a time when Miami was barely more than a frontier town and the “swamp” to the west of it was considered there for the taking by developers, speculators, and agricultural industrialists. Read More→


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Sylvia Beach: Legendary Paris Bookseller and Publisher

Sylvia Beach (1887 – 1962) was the legendary owner of the legendary bookshop Shakespeare and Company the meeting place for all of literary Paris in the 1920s, and the publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922. This musing on her active years in literary Paris is excerpted from Everybody I Can Think Of Ever: Meetings That Made the Avant-Garde by Francis Booth, reprinted by permission.

Beach wrote her own résumé towards the end of her life in a letter dated April 23, 1951, to the American Library in post-war Paris, when she donated the remaining books from Shakespeare and Company to them. Read More→


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Wilma Rudolph, Groundbreaking Athlete for the Ages — in Pages

Wilma Rudolph (1940 – 1994) was a groundbreaking American Olympic champion in the field of running. As the most visible and famed Black female athlete of time, she inspired generations who came after her. Running was her passion, and she became an icon in the civil rights and women’s rights movements as well.

Books about Wilma Rudolph continue to tell her story, most aimed at younger readers who draw inspiration from her remarkable life. Here, we’ll take a look at some of them, starting with her own 1977 autobiography, Wilma.

In this slim but action-packed volume she told the story of how she, a Black woman athlete facing many obstacles, won both in life and in the toughest sports competitions in the world. She has the distinction of being the first American ever to take home three gold medals from a single Olympics. Read More→


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Beryl Markham, Aviatrix, Adventurer, Author of West with the Night

Beryl Markham (October 26, 1902 – August 3, 1986) is best remembered as a pioneering aviatrix, becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic nonstop from Britain to North America.

She was also a racehorse trainer and had torrid love affairs and tepid marriages, all of which she recounted in her famed  1942 memoir, West with the Night.

Born Beryl Clutterbuck, she seemed at first destined to lead the kind of life described in old English novels – an uneventful childhood in a grand country house. Read More→


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